Gardening is more than just pretty flowers and tomatoes, it can also provide a variety of physical and mental benefits that can translate to a better performance on the field, court, or wherever you play your sport of choice. Additionally, if you choose to plant a fruit and vegetable garden, you can provide yourself with fresh produce to help promote a healthier overall lifestyle. You can even go as far as creating your own compost and focusing on produce only organic fruits and vegetables at a fraction of the cost of purchasing them in stores.
Physical Health Benefits
Maintaining a home garden is often associated with a greater level of overall fitness activity as well as better eating habits. Not only are those who have a home garden more likely to consume higher amounts of fruits and vegetables, they are also more likely to have a positive attitude when it comes to healthy eating which can help them make better choices over the long-term.
It requires a notable amount of effort to tend to a garden. Planting and weeding activities may require a person to squat and stand repeatedly, as well as exert themselves while removing unwelcomed weeds or adding new plants. Composting can also take physical effort in order keep the rate of decomposition high. Whether you use a premade composter, like the Envirocycle Composteamaker, or a homemade one, turning the compost can require a notable amount of strength, as well as physically moving the compost from the bin to the location you would like to use it.
Mental Health Benefits
Gardening has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol in the body, as well as promoting a more positive mood and lowering overall stress levels. Many people feel a sense of accomplishment as their garden grows and begins to produce fruits and vegetables that the family can enjoy. It can also encourage socialization in cases where a community garden is involved, or can be an activity that is shared between family members in a home garden.
A home garden can also provide a wonderful learning opportunity for households with children. It allows them to explore various scientific ideas, such as the lifecycle of a plant and how worms can add composting efforts.
For households that struggle financially, having a fruit and vegetable garden can help lower the amount of funds that must be directed towards the purchase of nutritious foods. Not only that, it can also make accessing organic produce much more cost effective when you choose to use organic practices in your garden.
Some find benefits in the connection gardening provides to the natural world, especially those who may have limited time to spend outdoors due to either work or educational obligations. It has also been found as a potential way to combat attention fatigue that may occur throughout the day as long as we take our attention away from certain focused activities, such as managing work email, and allow ourselves to participate in activities that engage in activities that promote involuntary attention.
Not only can having a garden reduce food costs, it can also serve as a source of income. Depending on your laws and regulations, any excess produce may be able to be sold within your community, including to businesses, such as restaurants. If selling excess isn’t feasible, you may be able to use it to barter with neighbors for things like fresh eggs or other produce items you don’t grow personally.